Overview of Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is derived from the common oregano plant whose scientific name is Origanum vulgaris. This is the same oregano that is found in most spice racks and it is used extensively in Italian cooking. As a matter of fact, my kids used to call it the pizza plant due to the fact that it smelled somewhat like pizza. This herb is easy to grow in the home garden and it can become invasive.
Oil of oregano has been used medicinally for centuries. It was a necessity for those westward bound on the Oregon Trail. Oil of oregano was a staple in every pioneer’s household. It is now making a comeback into mainstream homeopathic and naturopathic avenues.
The anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that oil of oregano contains are currently being studied by modern medicine. It has long been associated as a cure for stomach aches and coughs. However, today it is believed to help cure or alleviate many ailments including athlete’s foot, sore throats, digestive problems, migraine headaches and skin conditions.
Parts of the Oregano Plant, Oregano vulgaris
Thymol, a chemical found in oil of oregano is used commercially as an animal repellent, medical disinfectants, fungicides, and virucides. It is combined with other ingredients for use as a pesticide and miticide. For humans, thymol is a powerful antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral agent.
This is another main component of oil of oregano. Like thymol, carvacrol is a powerful biocide. Tests have shown it to be effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica.
Uses and Availability of Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is available at most health food and natural food stores. Any place that sells herbal remedies will have oil of oregano on hand. The plant is readily available in the US and it can be grown almost anywhere. Oil of oregano should not be extremely expensive. However, only purchase it from a reliable source to be sure you are getting a quality product.
This oil is taken internally, in either capsule or liquid form. The liquid is said to have a somewhat bitter taste. Many say that at the onset of a cold, sore throat, headache or other ailment a dose of oil of oregano will prevent further discomfort.
For foot or nail fungi and athlete’s foot, oil of oregano can be applied directly to the effected area. It is best to follow the dosage directions on the package.
Oil of oregano has very low toxicity. It is almost impossible to overdose and it breaks down quickly in the body.
It’s about time we look at what is in our medicine cabinets. Perhaps our forefathers had it right and we should keep a vial or two of oil of oregano readily accessible.